Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 December 2014

McConville's blast sees fire returned by angry Tyrone

When Tyrone and Armagh next come face-to-face in an important match, there is likely to be an even more competitive edge to the proceedings - if that's possible.

Oisin McConville's claim that at least three Tyrone players have engaged in strong verbals in recent matches between the sides has evoked a sharp reaction in the Red Hand county.

McConville's graphic description of his head-to-head with Ryan McMenamin, Conor Gormley and Brian Dooher has ensured that the lukewarm relationship between the counties will now morph into a cold front.

Tyrone county board chairman Pat Darcy has certainly lost no time in chipping in with his views on the situation, maintaining that McConville's allegations are made in tandem with a bid to market his new book 'The Gambler.'

Pat Darcy has already advised Oisin McConville to do his talking on the pitch in future after his literary outburst.

Darcy claims that what happens on the field of play should stay on the field of play.

"All of us could say things about people we played against over the years in our careers," he said.

"These things are best left on the field of play. It is up to those players to respond. I'm sure they can defend themselves.

"I'm not sure if they would say that. They are good loyal Tyrone players. If players want to sell books, they are going to say something controversial."

McConville repeatedly questions the on-field antics of Tyrone players in his book, claiming they crossed the line on too many occasions in a verbal context.

"Nothing makes you focus better than a genuine hatred and nothing gave me a greater reason for genuine hatred than a couple of their backs," the 2002 All-Ireland winner wrote.

There is no doubt that McConville is referring to McMenamin and Gormley both of whom collected All Ireland medals when Tyrone won the Sam Maguire Cup in 2003 and 2005.

McConville's book already looks certain to prove a huge seller.

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